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When in Finland…

A few months ago, we decided to spend New Years’ in Finland, visiting the beautiful violinist Elisabeth St-Cyr and her husband. It was only fair, we reasoned – last year, they visited us around the same time, so clearly now it was our turn.

Also, Finland in the middle of winter! What could possibly go wrong!

For me, it had been a few years since I experienced a Scandinavian winter – for an impression, think of “dark” and “cold” and then multiply that a few times – but I must admit, you get used to it again pretty quickly.

Of course, the fact that we went in a sauna basically every day (and once, on a very memorable occasion, through a hole in the ice on a lake to cool down as well) may have helped. I even went cross country skiing for the first time in my life. I managed to fall over as little as six times, once almost skiing my companion off her feet. I am very proud.

The most memorable occasion was the concert we visited while Up North. The quartet aforementioned Elisabeth is a member of had been invited to play during our stay, so of course we came and listened. I hadn’t heard the quartet play before, and the last time I heard Elisabeth was two years ago, so you can bet I was very excited about it.

It was proven I had every right to be.

If any of you are ever in the area of Kuopio, Finland, you must find out if and where the Kalla Quartet is playing. Barring that, go to a performance of the Kuopion Kaupunginorkesteri – the orchestra these four wonderful musicians are a part of.

They even did a version of the “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

It was awesome.

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